POLITICS

Deeply Pained By Your Allegations, Says Manohar Parrikar In Scathing Letter To Mamata Banerjee

"Politicians and political parties have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantiated allegations against each other."

09/12/2016 12:29 PM IST | Updated 09/12/2016 2:11 PM IST
Jayanta Shaw / Reuters
Mamata Banerjee, chief of the regional Trinamool Congress party, watches her activists before she speaks during a protest rally in front of Tata Motors' new small car project at Singur, 50 km (32 miles) north of the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, August 24, 2008. Thousands of protesters surrounded a factory building what is billed as the world's cheapest car, the Nano, in the biggest demonstration yet against seizure of farmland for industry in West Bengal. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw (INDIA)

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has received a whiplash of a letter by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who said he was "deeply pained" by the allegations levelled by her against the Indian Army.

Parrikar's two page letter -- which is in possession of HuffPost India -- is in response to Banerjee's allegation that Indian Army carried out an unauthorised manoeuvre aimed to topple the elected government. The Chief Minister had even spent an entire night in her office at the secretariat Nabanna, refusing to go home till the Army left.

HuffPost India

HuffPost India

On 1st and 2nd of December the Indian Army carried out a routine exercise of mapping the movement of heavy vehicles moving through highways. The annual exercise is aimed at recording the kind and number of vehicles that can be requisitioned by the military to move men and equipments in case of an emergency. Such exercises are carried out across the country in consultation with the state governments.

Parrikar said her allegations didn't suit a politician of her standing. The Defence Minister has reiterated that the exercise was routine and planned "in consultation" with the state government.

"Politicians and political parties have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantiated against each other."

"If you had enquired with the concerned agencies of the state government, you would have come to know of the extensive correspondence between the Army and the state agencies including the joint inspection of sites carried out by them," Parrikar wrote.

The Defence minister also told Banerjee that her allegations of the military trying to topple an elected government "runs the risk of adversely impacting the morale of the country's armed forces and the same is not expected from a person of your standing and experience in public life."

"Politicians and political parties have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantiated against each other," the Defence Minister said in the letter and has cautioned Banerjee that politicians and public figures "needs to extremely careful while referring to our armed forces."

Banerjee has been also been leading the charge against the government on demonetisation as well. The Defence Minister's letter severely castigating her is only likely to add more fuel to the fire.

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